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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 14:30HRS

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NEW LABOUR LEADER FOR LAMBETH LBC ...
NEW LABOUR LEADER FOR LAMBETH LBC

The new leader of Lambeth LBC's Labour group is Cllr Steven Reed, but the contest with Cllr Nick Cattermole went to the wire as he edged out by 15 votes to 13. The position had been vacated by Cllr Tom Franklin, who had been leader of the council until the party lost power in May's local election, reports the South London Press(p30).

BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL PART OF WINNING TEAM IN FIGHT AGAINST PROSTITUTION AND DRUGS

The menace of prostitution and drug dealing is vanishing from an area of the city, thanks to the groundbreaking Edgbaston Crime Fighting Team project involving Birmingham City Council staff, police, housing associations, local councillors and a team of volunteers from Birmingham south west residents group. Teamwork is finally paying off in parts of Ladywood and Edgbaston where more than 30 drug dens have been raided in the past 16 months and scores of arrests made for anti-social behaviour. Now agencies in other parts of the city want to know why the pilot scheme has worked so well at managing to bring residents a much better quality of life, reports icbirmingham.co.uk.

PARTNERSHIP REGISTER AND COMMITMENT CEREMONIES WIN GO-AHEAD IN LEEDS

A controversial plan to introduce new commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples has been given the go-ahead for the first time in Yorkshire. Leeds will join Manchester and London as the only three places in the country to have an official register recognising relationships of any gender, after approval by a Leeds City Council meeting. The move, which will give same-sex couples the chance to make a public lifelong commitment to one another, was welcomed by Labour councillors, reports the Yorkshire Post(p3).

IN DEPTH: ITnet COMES UNDER FIRE FOR PUTTING PROFITS AHEAD OF SERVICES

Benefits firm ITnet is still giving people a raw deal despite clocking up huge profits, according to Islington LBC's labour group, and Islington South and Finsbury MP Chris Smith, reports the Highbury & Islington Express. Mr Smith said the company's overall profit had risen by 35 per cent over the last six months. 'ITnet's performance in running housing benefits in Islington has been appalling, yet their public sector work simply seems to grow and grow. They have nothing to crow about as far as Islington is concerned and everything to be ashamed of. Surely we ought to be seeing some of that money being used to improve services, not to put yet more money into ITnet's coffers.'

IN BRIEF:

-- Conservative candidate Gillian Roach has held onto a seat on Stratford on Avon DC after fellow party member Christopher Pilkington quit following a scandal over indecent images of children found on his computer.

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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